Before we begin, I need to level with you: Time Spiral Remastered is already one of my favorite sets of all time. I was a college junior when the original Time Spiral came out, and it was an era of my life when I was drafting several nights a week at my then-girlfriend's student union and at the dearly departed Your Move Games in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It seems silly to have nostalgia for a block that was originally designed to evoke nostalgia of a previous era, but I can't help donning my rose-colored glasses when I look at Time Spiral Remastered. It takes me right back to dining hall waffles and crossing my fingers that nobody else was drafting Amrou Scout. I love Time Spiral. Love love love it.
I love this set as a finance writer, too. Time Spiral Remastered is a throwback to an earlier era of set release simplicity, and that's a world that feels very comfortable to me. You want to buy a booster pack? Your only choice is the one labeled "booster pack." You do not have to choose between set boosters, draft boosters, and collector boosters. Your foils aren't going to be instantly devalued by the presence of better foils in premium packs that you can't afford. You just have to open the regular packs and hope to get lucky.
I realize that I'm coming off as something of a curmudgeon, and I don't want this article to become some boomer-esque ode to how things used to be better back in the day. There are plenty of ways that Magic is better today than it was in 2006, including the rise of Commander and a change in design philosophy that has led to fewer useless rares. It just feels nice to go back in time, if only for a single set. Hey, have you heard of this cool singer named Taylor Swift? Her debut album sounds pretty promising!
I'm going to be going deeper into my big picture thoughts next week, when the full contents of Time Spiral Remastered have been revealed, but here are a few key observations that have been informing my overall financial approach to this set:
Because of this, I feel pretty comfortable putting out a general "buy" call on everything related to Time Spiral Remastered, and especially cards on the Timeshifted sheet. No matter what you want, buying in ASAP seems fine to me. Sealed boxes will go up in price. Singles will go up in price. Foils will go up in price. The best time to buy is almost certainly going to be during the 72-hour window right after the set is released and the first wave of singles hit the virtual shelves.
While some cards might not follow this trend, and I'll be giving specific card-by-card recommendations later in this article, I would err on the side of being aggressive with the Time Spiral Remastered cards you want to own. The supply is likely lower, and demand is likely higher, than most people think.
White didn't get a great set of mythic reprints, but that's okay. If they'd made Angel's Grace and Pulmonic Sliver mythics instead, it would just mean that those two cards would be harder to find. Instead, you're probably feeling pretty neutral toward opening either of these two. I expect their price tags to remain roughly where they are, and you can buy in whenever if you want a copy.
White got two excellent rare reprints and five poor ones, which isn't bad considering that this is a fairly weak color overall. Angel's Grace is the clear winner here, as this popular combo piece has been reprinted with excellent new art. Angel's Grace has been a $20 card for a while now, so buying in at $14 is a nice little discount. Take a look:
As with most of the cards in this set, you might be able to get in a little cheaper if you wait for release weekend. I wouldn't wait too long past that, though. Between the quality of this card and the fact that it has new art, I expect it'll end back up at $20 at some point.
Key Commons and Uncommons
Aven Mindcensor - $4.50
Sinew Sliver - $3
Mana Tithe - $2.50
Sidewinder Sliver - $1
Want to see something odd? Check out the price chart for Aven Mindcensor:
What's going on here? It's unclear. The Future Sight and Amonkhet versions of this card have both seen significant gains over the past few days, despite no real increase in supply. This $4.50 figure also just averages out the Time Spiral Remastered copy of Aven Mindcensor, which is currently pre-selling for just $1.29 plus shipping.
My best guess is that sellers are raising the prices of older versions of this card now that we know the Time Spiral Remastered version of Aven Mindcensor will have neither the Amonkhet art nor the Future Sight border. Either way, you should be able to get this card for just around a buck in a few weeks. I'd recommend it if you don't already have a set.
As for the rest of the commons, I'd wait until the set releases and then pick them up. Even if Time Spiral Remastered has a tiny print run, the commons should come down in price.
We didn't miss out on much, quite frankly. More than half of the Time Spiral Block rares that weren't reprinted are bulk, which I define as currently selling for less than $1 here on TCGplayer. Most of the rest of them are in the $1-$3 range, which means you can still pick them up for less than a booster pack. These cards didn't need to be reprinted, and they weren't.
The closest thing we had to a snub here was Retether, which hasn't been printed since Planar Chaos. This card is primed to explode in price the next time we get another "Auras Matter" commander, and I'd consider picking up a copy or two now. While it might have been snubbed because it's due to be reprinted in another set soon, the fact that it dodged a reprint here is notable. At just $5, it's a relatively low-risk buy.
To be clear: these prices are for currently available versions of these cards, not the new timeshifted versions. There have not been enough pre-sales for me to estimate the value of the timeshifted versions yet, though I'd expect most of them to start between 20-30% higher than the currently-available copy.
Why are the reprints going to be more expensive than the older versions of these cards? Because the old border is going to be incredibly desirable, and because you have 1:121 (mythic rare) odds of pulling any given Timeshifted card in a booster pack. These cards are going to start relatively high, and they'll only surge higher once Time Spiral Remastered is sold out.
Even though many of these cards are technically bulk, we will likely see some pretty hefty premiums for the Timeshifted versions, especially the foils. For example, you can pick up an LP copy of Containment Priest for about fifty cents, but the Amonkhet Invocation version of the card is worth about $30. We don't know how rare the timeshifted foils are yet, but it could be roughly that scarce—and command roughly the same price. Silence and Path to Exile are likely to have similar premiums attached to them, and Sram could be an underrated buy since he's a popular Commander. If you're interested in any of these cards, you should buy in sooner rather than later.
We get two more solid but unspectacular pick-ups here. While neither of these cards are as expensive as they have been in the past due to heavy reprints over the years, you aren't going to be sad to open them. Their price tags should stay roughly the same, and you can buy in whenever—no rush.
Blue mostly delivers for us in Time Spiral Remastered, with two nice rares and a third fairly solid pull. Pact of Negation is one of the best cards in the set, and it has held its value for years despite being reprinted in Modern Masters, Masters 25, and on The List. Here's its price chart over the past 5 years:
That massive drop in the middle of this chart is the Masters 25 reprint, which tanked the price for about a year. Pact of Negation perked back up again once Masters 25 left shelves, though, and the unique counterspell has been rising in price ever since. While this printing might also temporarily drop the price, I don't expect Pact of Negation to stay low for long, due to the small print run for this set and high historical demand. If you can buy in around $20-$25 in a couple of weeks, I don't think you'll ever be disappointed.
As for Venser, Shaper Savant, I have to admit I was surprised to see this chart staring back at me. It's hard for me to believe that Venser is really an $18 card all of a sudden!
What's going on here? Well, let's break it down further. Venser has been printed twice before Time Spiral Remastered: once in Future Sight, and once in Modern Masters 2017. Is it the cool Future-shifted copy driving up the value here?
A little, perhaps, but not really? This chart is much flatter, though there does seem to be a slight uptick from the $13-$14 range into the $15-$16 range. What about Modern Masters 2017, then?
Bingo! This is very odd, though, because this chart is based on real sales—people really did spend almost $19 on near mint copies of Venser, Shaper Savant—despite the fact that the market price for this card is $11.35 and you can snag a NM copy on the marketplace for right around $10. I wonder if there's some kind of manipulation going on here, though I'm not sure how or why. I'll be looking into it closely for future articles, that's for sure.
At any rate, Venser, Shaper Savant is an excellent Commander card that should hold its value pretty well, manipulation or not. I think the real price is closer to $8 than $18, but don't expect this one to drop much lower. Demand is always going to be high for elite casual staples like Venser.
Key Commons and Uncommons
Interestingly enough, Delay is the first Time Spiral Remastered card I've found that has a price chart with a significant drop. Check it out:
Even though Delay is an uncommon, the fact that it was selling pretty regularly between $6 and $7 before this tells me that it might be a tad underpriced at $2. Uncommons are a lot harder to open than commons, as anyone who has chased key uncommons in Masters sets knows very well. I don't think it's a must-buy at $2 or anything, but if you want a set, you can probably feel okay snagging it at some point over the next few weeks.
WotC did another good job here. Trickbind is the only "good" card that didn't make the cut, and we're talking about a card that is still just $5 despite having not been reprinted once in 15 years. That's not exactly an overwhelming amount of demand. Trickbind might sneak up a few bucks now that we know it dodged a reprint here, but I'd prefer to bet on cards that have proven themselves over the years.
This is an excellent set of cards, as each and every one of them (except for fan-favorite Fblthp) is good in Commander, Modern, Vintage, Pauper, or Cube. As with the white timeshifted cards, I'd target foils pretty aggressively here. Laboratory Maniac, Ponder, and Paradoxical Outcome are my favorites due to Vintage and Legacy, but you can't really go wrong here. All of these cards are going to be in moderate to high demand for years to come.
Damnation is one of the 2-3 cards that absolutely had to be in this set, or the community would riot. It is also the only chase mythic we've had spoiled so far. Here's what has happened to its price tag since the last time it was printed, back in Modern Masters 2017:
This is a pretty meaningful drop, from the $50-$60 range down to roughly $18 before slowly creeping back up to $40. Damnation was a rare in that set, though, not a mythic, so I would be shocked if it falls all the way back to $18 again this time. It might bottom out in the $25 range, but I wouldn't expect much more than that. Snag your copies on release weekend if possible, too, because Damnation is the exact sort of card that's likely to rebound pretty quickly.
There are quite a few good black cards in Time Spiral block, but most of them have lost value over the years. Extirpate would have been a super exciting pull in years past, Slaughter Pact has seen its day, and you don't need me to remind you about Bridge from Below.
Nether Traitor is one of the last black rares from this block that could be exciting to open, and that might change after this printing. It's a powerful but niche Commander card that hasn't been reprinted yet, meaning that this single reprint might actually represent a meaningful increase in the overall supply. I expect Nether Traitor to end up closer to $5 than $13, and you might be able to hold off a little longer before buying this one.
Key Commons and Uncommons
Street Wraith has already been reprinted three other times, most recently in Mystery Boosters. There isn't that much further for this card to drop. The Mystery Booster printing dropped it from $2.50 down to about $1.50, and this printing might drop it down to $1. Demand will keep Street Wraith out of the bulk bin, but this card hasn't been an exciting pull for a few years already.
This is the first group of snubs that actually have a few cards I would have liked to see come back. Imp's Mischief, Temporal Extortion, and Bitter Ordeal are super fun niche Commander cards, and I've definitely been frustrated by an opposing Gibbering Descent more than once.
All of these cards are pretty similar to Nether Traitor in that they are primarily expensive due to scarcity, and their value would probably collapse if they were reprinted even once. The fact that they dodged a reprint here tells me that there probably aren't any on the horizon, either—especially for a card like Bitter Ordeal that has the keyword "gravestorm." If you're interested in picking any of these cards up, it seems fairly safe to do so now. I don't think you'll get blown out by a reprint in the near future.
This is a pretty killer list of cards. While lower-end timeshifted Read the Bones and Vampire Hexmage might never be worth all that much, Thoughtseize and Yawgmoth, Thran Physician are going to be two of the set's most sought-after cards. Foil timeshifted copies of Yawgmoth should end up settling in over $100, thanks to Commander, and foil Thoughtseize could legitimately be worth double that. We already have several Masterpiece-style variants of the card that sell between $50-$100, but if I'm building a Vintage or a Legacy deck with all my cool old cards, this is the version I want. Seriously: expect these two to start high and go up.
I also think that Relentless Rats is going to be an underrated buy. The folks who want this card need 30+ copies of it, and they're not going to want Rats that don't match. Expect this card to sell out fast and quickly outperform expectations.
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